Several people have been asking me where I am at in my treatments so I thought I should post an update.
October 14th I finished radiation. In all I ended up having 25 treatments. Looking back I really don't know how I managed to get to the hospital at 7:00 a.m. and then go and teach 1st graders each day. Wow! I still am amazed that Steve and I was able to make it work out. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband who supports me through all of this. Steve was able to go into work a little later each day which allowed him to take the kids to school for me. I think he really enjoyed having that 25 minute drive to school in the morning with the kids. He says he misses the chats they had. It is one of those things I take for granted. How lucky I am to get that alone time with my kids during the morning drive.
Radiation was actually not that bad. It was more or less just an annoyance to have to go every day. But the radiation itself didn't hurt. I didn't even notice burns until about the 3rd week and because of the doctor's great advice of using aloe vera, the burns were not that severe. It ended up being more like a bad sunburn. The muscle under my arm was a little sore because the radiation went deep into the muscle as well. But with time that has gone away. Now that it has been over a month, I really don't notice any side effects.
Overall I am doing quite well. I probably feel the best I have felt in 11 months. My energy is returning, my emotions are getting better and my hair has even starting growing back. It is nothing to brag about and I am still wearing hats, but it is growing. Now I am looking forward to having time to heal both emotionally and physically.
The next phase of this cancer road is taking a hormone blocker medication called Tamoxifen for 5 years so that cancer can't reoccur. The worst part of the medication is the hot flashes. I am grateful that it is winter right now, but man summer is going to be brutal! My oncologist also said I can have my port-a-cath removed whenever I am ready. Since it is still a small surgery I think waiting until after the holidays will be the best time to have it removed. Then the final step is reconstructive surgery. The Radiologist Oncologist suggested I wait 3-6 months to make sure all the tissue has healed after radiation. So waiting is what I will do. I hope to have something planned for spring or early summer. For now I am content. Surgery is not fun at all so waiting sounds pretty good. But it will be nice to be somewhat back to normal.
So far it has been a very hard journey, one that I never want to go on again. But looking back I have been very blessed with so many people to help me and love me through this journey. I am thankful for so much in my life. Here are some thoughts that was given to me that I think says so much.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace,
you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.
You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.